THINGS TO DO IN LISBON - PARKS
Park Eduardo VII
Marquês de Pombal square is the centre of Lisbon, you have a beautiful view of the whole city and it is the beginning of Avenida da Liberdade, which is one of the most important avenues in Lisbon with hotels, shops, theatres, several restaurants and pastries.
Jardim da Estrela
One of the most popular of Lisbon's public green spaces, the Estrela gardens are attractive any time of year but it's during the warm summer months that the park is at its vibrant and most colourful. A lake teeming with ducks and geese is overlooked by a waterfront cafe, a favourite meeting point for residents, especially at weekends when an arts and crafts fair threads its way along the grounds. The well-maintained lawns are natural picnic sites while the adjacent adventure playground keeps smiling youngsters occupied. A refurbished 19th-century wrought-iron bandstand is still used today as a concert stage and there's an open air library for bookworms.
Jardim Botanico da Ajuda
Spread out at the top of a hill near the Palácio da Ajuda, the Ajuda Botanical Garden was created in 1768 and is Lisbon's oldest park. The views from the terraces take in the river and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The garden is planted with an incredible variety of flowers and visitors can also explore the greenhouses where tropical flora is cultivated, including a selection of beautiful orchids. One of the garden's highlights is a 400-year-old Madeiran dragon tree. An onsite shop sells various souvenirs and there's even a restaurant, the highly regarded Estufal Real that serves lunch.
Tropical Botanical Garden
The Tropical Botanical Garden in Belém (sometimes referred to as the Jardim Museu Agricola Tropical) is a lush oasis of exotic flora set in landscaped gardens that surround the 18th-century Palácio dos Condes da Calheta, these days used as research centre of the Institute for Tropical Sciences. Visitors can appreciate an array of tropical and subtropical plants, and imposing date palm, fig and monkey puzzle trees. Kids can feed the ducks on the lake and play hide and seek under the garden's verdant canopy. The palace regularly hosts scientific exhibitions about the research on natural resources, people and history of tropical regions.
Palace Gardens - Belém
Often overlooked by the general public, the gardens within Belém Palace are definitely worth discovering, not least because a guided tour of the grounds on Saturdays and Sundays also includes entrance to the palace and the Museu da Presidéncia da República. The palace is the working residence of Portugal's president and dates from the 18th-century. The ornamented grounds are in fact composed of three distinctive areas – the Main Garden, the smaller West Garden and the South Garden. In addition, visitors can wander through the Orangery, the Lime Tree Garden, the Yew Garden and the Waterfall Garden. Statues and water features embellish the landscape, the boundaries of which are marked by lavender and myrtle hedges. The views south across the Main Garden embrace the picturesque riverfront.
Stretching for about 10 square kilometers, the Monsanto Forest Park (Parque Florestal de Monsanto) is the largest green space in Lisbon, such that it can be easily deemed the green lung of the city and of the adjoining localities. The spectacular side of the park does not reside exclusively in its being an ideal opportunity for nature lovers, since the park has been laid out with a solid leisure and sports infrastructure which gives visitors the opportunity to delight in practicing all sorts of outdoor activities, hiking included. Plenty of events (concerts, exhibitions, theater representations, and fairs) are organized here. On top of all that, the Monsanto Forest Park is an excellent lookout, occasioning visitors to contemplate the panoramic view of Lisbon, of the Tejo River, of the Atlantic Ocean and of the neighboring suburbs.